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Daily Archives: January 10, 2020

  • Patch Lady – Windows 7 FAQs

    Posted on January 10th, 2020 at 22:45 Susan Bradley Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    This is a preview of the content in the next Patch Watch.

    Windows 7 is coming to the end of life.  What does that mean?  Here’s some “Patch Lady” answers:

    1.  If I rebuild my computer on January 15, will updates be available?  Yes, Windows 7 updates won’t go away, you just won’t get any new patches on that Windows 7 after next Tuesday. (The exception is for Windows 7 Pro, Ultimate and Enterprise versions if you are a small business.  Remember that for small businesses, Microsoft has made an exception and you can purchase Windows 7 extended support updates to be delivered via Windows update, WSUS or windows catalog.  If you need to know more, fill out this form and Amy and Ted will get back to you).
    2. I’ve heard from Comcast (or my ISP) that they will only allow Windows 10 on their network after next Tuesday, what does that mean?  No, Comcast is probably just letting you know that next Tuesday will be the last release of public patches for Windows 7.  Your computer will still work after next Tuesday.  However, you’ll want to be very careful and not do random surfing on any device that no longer receives patches.
    3. Will Microsoft release patches if there is some huge worm to unprotected machines?  Maybe.  Probably yes.  Historically speaking, Microsoft time and time again have showcased that when their customers are at risk they will do the right thing and release updates even when a platform is out of support.  Just this year they publicly released Windows XP patches when they thought a worm event might occur.  So historically, yes, when they think customers are at risk, they will release public patches.
    4. If I rebuild my computer after January 15, what’s the best way to get fully patched?  Remember that you will run into the slow scanning issue with Windows 7.  Follow this guidance and manually download certain patches first.
    5. Will still cover the needed updates for Windows 7 so we know what we’re missing, or if I’m a small business and have purchased patches, I’ll know if it’s safe to install them?  Yes, I still plan to list all Windows updates and report on any side effects that may be seen.  I know that the rest of the AskWoody MVPs will still keep an eye out for side effects and issues as well.  Given that Microsoft plans to release the Windows 7 updates to all normal patching platforms, I fully anticipate being able to track the updates.  Furthermore I’ve purchased a single Windows 7 license in order to track issues myself.
    6. Can I surf and read email and do everything I need to do on my Windows 7 after January 14 as a home user?  I’m not comfortable at all saying that “oh sure, as long as you are paranoid you can be secure enough”.  On a daily basis I notice at the office that my firewall blocks phishing attempts from foreign countries, I see attempts to crack passwords, I see malicious banner ads in rotation on normal web sites that my firewall stops.  If you have an android phone, iphone, chromebook or some other operating system, I’d much rather you do general surfing on that device and limit your use of your beloved Windows 7 device for those applications that you know won’t work on a device or on Windows 10.

    ….stay tuned.  More FAQs to come

  • MS-DEFCON 5: Get your systems patched

    Posted on January 10th, 2020 at 11:16 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    The problems this month — which is to say, the December patches — are relatively benign (as long as you aren’t manually installing WIn7/Server 2008 Security-only patches). If you’re running Win10 version 1903, life’s much simpler.

    Step-by-step instructions in Computerworld Woody on Windows.

    P.S. Yes, that’s an MS-DEFCON 5. Get ’em while the gettin’s good.

  • Foley: MS will phase out the Win10 Store for Business and Store for Education

    Posted on January 10th, 2020 at 09:36 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    No, Microsoft isn’t going to give up on the Microsoft Store any time soon. In fact, they’re expanding the Store so it includes all Windows programs, not just Win10-only UWP apps. Some day they will be able to sell, you know, refrigerators, I s’pose.

    But the specialized Stores for Business and Education are getting the boot, according to Mary Jo Foley (who’s always right about such things). This just out on ZDNet:

    The Store for Business and Store for Education were designed for admins who wanted to make applications available to their users outside of the normal Windows Store channel in Windows 10. They allow admins to make Store apps available to their users for volume acquisition and distribution, as well as provide a way for custom line-of-business distribution only inside a particular organization…

    Microsoft is continuing to try to clean up its digital app-store mess. Its latest planned move, according to my contacts: Get rid of the Microsoft Store for Business and Microsoft Store for Education.

    I wouldn’t read this as a prediction of the future – just an acknowledgment (not yet official) about the futility of the past.

    For the future, something’s got to give with the Microsoft Store. It’s going to face some major changes, sooner rather than later. Microsoft tried to replicate the successes of the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, and just blew it.

    Kinda like UWP, truth be told.

  • Will TurboTax 2019 work on Windows 7 machines?

    Posted on January 10th, 2020 at 07:30 woody Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Interesting question from CP:

    I just saw that turbotax 2019 only supports win 8.0 and above. What option do us win 7 users have? Will it still work with win 7?

    The Intuit TurboTax support site includes this assertion:

    At Intuit, the security of our customers’ data is a top priority. To help customers safeguard their personal information, like their Social Security number and bank account information, we strongly recommend that TurboTax and QuickBooks desktop customers using Windows 7 upgrade their operating system before installing their product. Microsoft is recommending that Windows 7 users upgrade to Windows 10.

    TurboTax for tax year 2019 and QuickBooks 2020 will install on Windows 7 (Service Pack 1 or later) PCs. However, we strongly recommend upgrading your operating system before installing these products.

    TurboTax has come under a lot of fire lately. For example, see this article from ProPublica Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free and the follow-up IRS Reforms Free File Program, Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax.

    The decision to drop Win7 support next year isn’t going to make them any friends.